Welcome to the September 2014 Editorial of The Dive Industry Professional. Curtis Clinkinbeard, in his book HyperGrow Your Business, said that we have 3 kinds of Customers; Current Customers, Previous Customers, and New Customers. Eight years ago that statement changed the way I look at the buying public and my clients’ customer bases. To this day, it still guides me every time I think about ways we can attract customers to our businesses and our industry. You see, I’m a Marketer and a Promoter. You might call me an Advocate or a Scuba Diving Evangelist. Sometimes I even think of myself as an Industry Cheerleader. I love scuba diving and I want everyone to do it.
To do it, you first have to learn how to do it. And you need gear to do it. And you have to take your gear somewhere to use it. And you have to take your friends and family with you when you go, so they can do it with you. It never ends. I’m going to Grenada in two days and I need more gear; SeaLife Cameras, GoPro Videos, camera accessories and clothes, lots of clothes. I need some new Bottom Crawlers Shirts for Dinners and Business Meetings on the Island and Chammyz Shorts for after the dives. I need more stuff because I have an opportunity to use it. Without activities to use my cool stuff, there is no reason to buy cool stuff.
I admit it. I’m a scuba diving addict. I got that way because someone introduced me to it. What would have happened if that someone wasn’t there? Maybe someone else would have introduced me to diving, maybe not. Maybe I would have discovered it on my own, maybe not. In today’s world with so many recreational options, the scuba diving industry cannot take that chance. We have to be out there promoting diving every chance we get and every place where we meet potential customers. And that costs money.
The Dive Industry Association has established a Network of diving businesses that teach diving, sell diving equipment and promotes travel opportunities that give us all a chance to use our cool stuff. We promote that network via web sites, directories, blogs, press releases, newsletters, direct referrals and by meeting divers and potential divers at trade and consumer shows. We don’t just “Preach to the Choir”, although we do spend a considerable amount of time and money on retention strategies for our current customers who are already divers. Our Integrated Marketing approach to all customers includes reactivation campaigns that reach out to diving drop outs. This group has excellent economic impact potential and is relatively easy and inexpensive to reach.
The type of customer that has the largest economic potential, however, is the New Diver. Prospecting for new customers is the most costly and time intensive group to reach. We first have to reach them where they live, work or recreate. We have to convince them that scuba diving is easy, safe and enjoyable. Usually non-divers don’t hang out with Divers and they don’t go to dive shows. They do go to Adventure Travel Shows, Outdoor Shows, Watersports Shows and Boat Shows. And that’s where the Dive Industry Association and the Dive Industry Foundation come in. We promote the diving industry and our Members at Surf Shows and the Travel & Adventure Shows in addition to consumer dive shows.
If your company is looking to take advantage of the amount of advertising and promotion the Dive Industry Association is doing on the behalf of our Members, you should seriously consider Membership at $125 for the first year. Read about Member Benefits
If your company would like to partner with the Dive Industry Foundation, a tax exempt, non-profit organization dedicated to “Promoting Economic Development in Watersports” we encourage you to become a Sponsor and help fund our marketing and advertising campaigns. The Foundation already has an incredible track record, promoting diving with a limited budget. This is no telling how much the industry can grow by cooperating together to bring in new divers. It takes a unified Industry to be successful.